Planned Parenthood: Trump Move Highlights Need for Md. Law

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s reversal of the Obama administration’s position on federal funding for family planning shows why a new Maryland law is so important, said Karen Nelson, Maryland Planned Parenthood’s president and CEO.

The law Trump signed Thursday sets aside the measure barring state and local governments from denying federal funding to agencies that provide contraception and other reproductive health care services — regardless of whether those organizations provide abortions.

Last week, Maryland lawmakers passed HB 1083, first-of-its-kind legislation that would guarantee funding in case federal support for Planned Parenthood is withdrawn. That law, Nelson said, redirects $2 million from the state Medicaid budget and $700,000 from the state’s general fund to family planning services if it’s withdrawn.

“We came close to it, we came pretty darn close to it a couple of weeks ago” said Nelson, referring to the GOP efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Other states may want to follow the state’s lead in coming up with funding, Nelson said, in case federal money for family planning services is withdrawn.

“Because I think there’s going to be continued threats to Planned Parenthood funding. I don’t think this is going to stop,” she said of efforts to pull funding from providers who offer family planning services.

Maryland HB 1083 was enacted without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature.

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